MetoMotion is developing a novel, multipurpose robotic system to reduce reliance on high-cost human labor in greenhouse vegetable production.
MetoMotion is developing a multipurpose robotic system for labor-intensive tasks in greenhouses, to reduce the reliance on and high costs of human labor in greenhouse vegetable production.
The Company’s first application will be a robotic harvester for greenhouse tomatoes.
MetoMotion’s robotic harvester components:
The system is being designed for easy operation and smooth integration into existing greenhouse practices.
The harvester will significantly reduce the number of workers needed for the vegetable production cycle: one operator per five harvesters. It will minimize fruit damage and increase production efficiency. MetoMotion estimates a 50% reduction in harvest-related labor costs with its harvesting system.
MetoMotion’s systems can be easily adapted to perform a range of greenhouse tasks, including harvesting additional vegetables, pruning, monitoring, and pollination.
Founded: November 2016
Stage: Technology development
Investor: The Trendlines Group
Achievements: proof of concept, developing prototype
Labor costs in greenhouses comprise 30% to 50% of total greenhouses production costs. The use of greenhouses to grow vegetables is expanding to meet the increasing demand for quality produce year-round. With rising labor costs and difficulties in finding and maintaining qualified workers, growers are moving toward technology to reduce costs and improve production efficiency.
The total world greenhouse vegetable production area is 473,000 hectares. MetoMotion is first targeting the high-tech greenhouse sector where automatic systems are in use, and there is a strong movement toward robotics. High-tech greenhouses are 10% of the market. The majority are glass and located in northern Europe. Assuming one robot per hectare, the Company estimates the potential of its first target market to be around $2 billion, with an ROI in less than three years for the grower.
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